Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Reap the Savage Whirlwind - Part 3

Good News ~ for me at any rate ~ is that Reap the Savage Whirlwind - Part 3 ~ working title Ambition Realised ~ 1902 - 1920 is now being written. 

The photo above is not my book cover - not yet anyway - but is the property of
Art Flakes
Reap  the Savage Whirlwind is a Series of books detailing the lives of three friends from disparate backgrounds as they take part in the Second South African War (the Boer War) which raged from 1899 to 1902 in what is now the Republic of South Africa.
Samson Dhlamini is a Zulu Prince who was taken from his home, together with his family, to England where he was educated to serve the purposes of the British Government in the subversion and conquering of the Zulu Nation.

Stan Davis is Canadian farmer's son from Ontario who enlisted with the Canadian Army to fight the Boers on the side of the British.
Roland Harringay-Searle is the youngest son of an English upper class family who has disgraced himself and who is sent to South Africa and paid a monthly remittance to stay away from England.
They meet in Reap Part 1 and this book chronicles the story as they flee South Africa for disparate reasons to settle in the new Country named Rhodesia - the creation of a Chartered Company funded by The Rothschilds and mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes.  On the way they meet a variety of local people and experience adventures before reaching the land where they intend to form a new Clan; a family that ignores the Race, Culture, Creed and Religion of its members. 
Reap Part 2 commences where Part 1 ends.  In this book is chronicled the expansion of the Clan following the marriages contracted ~ using ancient Tribal Ceremonies rather than the new - to the area - Christian Ceremonies in Part 1.  Here we see the Clan expanded and more people of different races being welcomed.  It is mainly the story of Roland's search for his lost love Debora and subsequent acceptance of her death. 
Reap Part 3 will continue in that search and will answer Questions about the thorny problems he has to face.  
All the books contain two stories in one for in the background one may read about the lives of two young women from Zimbabwe.  One has her entire family wiped out by thugs from Zimbabwe's Ruling Party who destroy her grand-parents farm that is her home; the other is deserted by her husband who leaves her to fight her own battles.  The two women find that their love for each other is so great that they abandon heterosexual life to join together as lovers. In the course of their packing they discover the books that have been written by one's grand-mother - the daughter of the main protagonist, Roland.
This latest book will be published towards the end of this year ~ 2014.


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Dylan Thomas born this day in 1914

NB All phrases in GREEN contain a Hyperlink 

 Today is the birthday of Dylan Thomas, born in Swansea, Wales (1914). His father was a failed poet who worked as a schoolmaster, and Dylan grew up terrified of his violent mood swings. The only time he seemed to calm down, and the only time Thomas enjoyed his company, was when he was reading Shakespeare aloud. After graduation, Thomas got a job at a newspaper, but he was an awful reporter. He spent all his time at pool halls and caf├ęs, and when he did turn in stories, the facts were all wrong. One of his co-workers said, "[He was] a bombastic adolescent provincial Bohemian with a thick-knotted artist's tie made out of his sister's scarf ... a gabbing, ambitious, mock-tough, pretentious young man." 

Thomas became known as a rowdy drinker and late-night storyteller, and eventually quit his newspaper job. He lived in friends' apartments, sleeping on mattresses on the floor, surviving day to day by drinking beer and eating cake. He spent much of World War II in London, where he witnessed the bombing raids, and began to feel as though the world of his childhood in rural Wales had been lost forever. After the war was over, he published the collection Deaths and Entrances (1946), which contained one of his first great poems about lost childhood, "Fern Hill."

At the beginning of the 1950s, Thomas gave a series of readings in the United States. He told people, "[I have come to America] to continue my lifelong search for naked women in wet mackintoshes." Despite his notorious reputation as a raving drunk, he won everyone over with his compelling readings of his own poetry and deep sonorous voice. In the last years of his life, Thomas worked on the verse play Under Milk Wood (1954), but he spent most of his time writing letters to ask friends for money and to apologize for being so irresponsible. In one letter, he wrote, "After all sorts of upheavals, evasions, promises, procrastinations, I write, very fondly, and fawning slightly, a short inaccurate summary of those events which caused my never writing a word." From 1946 to 1953, he wrote only nine poems, but he filled his letters to friends with poetry. In one letter, he wrote: "The heat! It comes round corners at you like an animal with windmill arms. As I enter my bedroom, it stuns, thuds, throttles, spins me round by my soaking hair, lays me flat as a mat and bat-blind on my boiled and steaming bed. We keep oozing from the ice-cream counters to the chemist's. Cold beer is bottled God."

In an effort to support his family, he went on a fourth reading tour of the United States in 1953, but he was hospitalized with alcohol poisoning just as the tour began. He told his doctor, "I've had 18 straight whiskeys. I think that's the record." He died a few days later. One of the last poems he wrote before his death was a poem about his dying father, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" (1952). It begins, "Do not go gentle into that good night, / Old age should burn and rave at close of day, / Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Monday, 21 October 2013

Samuel Taylor Coleridge born this day in 1772


Today is the birthday of the Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, born in Ottery St. Mary in Devonshire, England (1772). Coleridge is the author of poems such as "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "Christabel," and "Frost at Midnight." As a small boy, he spent a lot of time reading. His favorite book was The Arabian Nights. His father died when he was 10, and then he had to go off to boarding school at Christ's Hospital in London. It was known as the "blue-coat school," where everyone had to wear a blue gown, a blue cap and yellow stockings. Coleridge hated it there. He would later write that "I was reared / In the great city, pent 'mid cloisters dim, / And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars." But he had one teacher who helped inspire him to become a poet. He said he learned that "in the truly great poets ... there is a reason assignable, not only for every word, but for the position of every word."
Coleridge went to college in Cambridge. Then he dropped out to join the army. He didn't want anyone to know who he was, so he called himself Silas Tomkyn Comberbache. He wasn't a very good soldier, though, and soon he left to rejoin society and talk about the new ideas of the French Revolution. He also spent time with the poet Robert Southey. The two of them dreamed up an idea to start a utopian village along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. They said it would be a place where there was no aristocracy. Southey said, "When Coleridge and I are sawing down a tree, we shall discuss metaphysics; criticise poetry when hunting a buffalo, and write sonnets whilst following the plough."
Coleridge never went to Pennsylvania, and instead he ended up getting married to a woman named Sara Fricker. In 1797, Coleridge and Fricker moved to a small house in the country. There he tended a vegetable garden and doted over his newborn son. That same year he became good friends with the poet William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy. One winter evening, the three of them took a long walk in the nearby hills called the Quantocks. They timed their walk so they would be able to watch the sunlight change to moonlight over the sea. It was then that Coleridge came up with the idea for "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," a poem about a sailor who brings a curse upon his ship after he kills an albatross. In 1798, he included the poem in a collection he published with Wordsworth called Lyrical Ballads. The book was the foundation of the Romantic movement in poetry. Wordsworth said they were trying to write poems where "ordinary things should be presented to the mind in an unusual way."
Coleridge was often sick. The doctors prescribed him small doses of opium, and he gradually became addicted to it. By the age of 30, he had become very depressed. He quarreled with his wife and fell in love with Wordsworth's sister-in-law. He wrote a poem called "Dejection: An Ode" and then sailed to the island of Malta to improve his health. He gradually regained his strength and lived to write many more poems.
Coleridge said, "I could inform the dullest author how he might write an interesting book — let him relate the events of his own Life with honesty, not disguising the feelings that accompanied them." 


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Oscar Wilde born this day in 1854

Today is the birthday of Oscar Wilde, born in Dublin  in 1854, who was already a successful playwright when he fell into a love affair with the young aristocrat Lord Alfred Douglas. Wilde was married with two children at the time, and the affair ruined his reputation in society. He later wrote, "I curse myself night and day for my folly in allowing him to dominate my life." But it was the most creative period of his life. He wrote three plays in two years about people leading double lives, including A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1895), and his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), about two men who use an imaginary person named Earnest to get themselves out of all kinds of situations, until their invented stories and identities get so complicated that everything is revealed. 

The actor who played Algernon Moncrieff later said, "In my fifty-three years of acting, I never remember a greater triumph than the first night of The Importance of Being Earnest." But that same year, Wilde was accused of sodomy by the father of his lover. Wilde might have let the accusation pass, but he chose to sue his accuser for libel, because he thought he could win the case by his eloquence alone. Private detectives had dug up so much damning evidence on Wilde that he was convicted of sodomy and sentenced to two years of hard labor. His plays continued to be produced on the stage, but his name was removed from all the programs. He was released from prison in 1897 and died three years later in a cheap Paris hotel.

Oscar Wilde, who said, "All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling." And, "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

P. G. Wodehouse born this day in 1881.

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It's the birthday of novelist P.G. Wodehouse, born Pelham Grenville Wodehouse in Guildford, England (1881). His father was a magistrate in Hong Kong. His mother traveled back and forth between England and Hong Kong, so Wodehouse was raised by a series of aunts. He wanted desperately to go to college, but his father went bankrupt and couldn't pay for his education. Wodehouse got a job as a bank clerk instead and started writing humorous stories and poems on the side. It was as a journalist that Wodehouse first came to the United States — to cover a boxing match — and he fell in love with America right away. He said, "Being [in America] was like being in heaven without going to all the bother and expense of dying."

He moved to Greenwich Village in 1909 and started to write stories for the Saturday Evening Post about an imaginary cartoonish England, full of very polite but brain-dead aristocrats such as Bertie Wooster, who was looked after by his butler Jeeves. He said: "I was writing a story, 'The Artistic Career of Corky,' about two young men, Bertie Wooster and his friend Corky, getting into a lot of trouble, and neither of them had brains enough to get out of the trouble. I thought: Well, how can I get them out? And I thought: Suppose one of them had an omniscient valet? I wrote a short story about him, then another short story, then several more short stories and novels. That's how a character grows." 

He wrote more than 100 books, including My Man Jeeves (1919), Summer Lightning (1929), Thank You Jeeves (1934), Young Men in Spats (1936), The Code of the Woosters (1938), and Joy in the Morning (1946). 

For more information here is the relevant
Wikipedia Entry

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Saturday, 21 September 2013

H. G. Wells born this day in 1866

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 Today is birthday of writer H.G. Wells, born Herbert George Wells in Bromley, England (1866). Although popularly known as one of the fathers of modern science fiction, having published classics such as The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and The War of the Worlds within the first few years of his writing career, Wells went on to publish dozens of novels, story collections, and books of nonfiction, most of which were not explicitly sci-fi. Most, however, dealt in some way with Wells' interest in biology, his strong belief in socialism, or his vision for the future of mankind. Indeed, much of what was fantastic and fictional when he conceived it came to pass, like his predictions that airplanes would someday be used to wage war and advanced transportation would lead to an explosion of suburbs. 

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Samuel Johnson born this day in 1709

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Today is the birthday of Samuel Johnson, born in Litchfield, England (1709). 

He was a sickly boy, and had been since the day he was born — "almost dead," he said. He contracted the lymphatic form of tuberculosis, called scrofula, when he was two, and because it was popularly believed that the touch of royalty could cure scrofula, he was taken to the queen. She touched him and gave him a gold medallion, which he kept for the rest of his life. Her touch didn't cure him, and neither did various disfiguring treatments that left him scarred. But he grew up strong and tall, and enjoyed walking, swimming, and riding. He was also very intelligent, proud, and somewhat lazy. 

In 1735, he married a widow who was 20 years his senior. He set out to find an intelligent wife, since he was convinced that his parents' marriage had been unhappy because of his mother's lack of education. Around this time, he also started writing. He published some essays early in the 1730s, and began a play, the historical tragedy Irene. In 1738, he became associated with the first modern magazine — called The Gentleman's Magazine — and contributed poems and prose. 

The 1750s were his most productive period. Not only did he write more than 200 essays for the twice-weekly newspaper The Rambler, but he was also at work on a monumental undertaking: a dictionary of the English language. The dictionary took him nine years to write, and he wrote The Rambler essays because they gave him a steady income; even though money was his chief incentive, he was still quite proud of those essays. He said, "My other works are wine and water; but my Rambler is pure wine."
The dictionary was finally published in two volumes in 1755. Johnson's patron, the Earl of Chesterfield, had pretty much ignored Johnson and his project for several years; as a result, the dictionary entry for "patron" reads: "one who countenances, supports, and protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence and is paid with flattery."

In 1763, Johnson met young James Boswell, who was 22. They didn't get along well at first, but they grew to be friends. Boswell kept remarkably detailed diaries, and he later wrote a comprehensive biography, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791). Boswell's scrupulous descriptions of Johnson's mannerisms led to a posthumous diagnosis of Tourette syndrome; his transcriptions of Johnson's many aphorisms made Johnson one of the most-quoted authors in the English language. Johnson said, as quoted by Boswell: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." And, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." And, "A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization."

To obtain a free EBook ~ The Works of Samuel Johnson